Tuesday, May 31, 2005

let the rainy season begin

Noah? i think it may be time to break out the ark...

doppler radar from 846am today Posted by Hello

hafta love when it's raining so hard outside that when you stand on your screen porch, you can't even see your own car sitting at the bottom of the driveway. however a completely viable excuse for being late to work during the rainy season (and yes there *are* 4 seasons in FL: Perfect; Hot & Rainy Like a Tropical Rainforest; Full-Blown Hurricane Season; and 40-Degrees Which Floridians Consider Freezing Our Asses Off): "i'm sorry i'm late, i had to wait for a break in the torrential downpour to attempt getting to my car only soaked as opposed to totally drowned" or "i apologize for not getting here on time--i had to pull over & wait out a heavy band of rain because i could no longer see through my windshield, made completely obsolete by the sheet of cascading precipitatation that even my windshield wipers on the so-fast-they-look-like-they-might-fly-off setting could not clear it away for so much as partial visibility".

i'm not complaining. we need the rain badly. just ask my poor parched yard (aka the weed garden lol) how happy it is to not be fruitlessly attempting to suck any last drops of water from the ground. i just hope this is merely an indication of another normal rainy season keeping us from drought & water-shortage & wild fires...NOT a precursor of the impending *scary horror movie music playing here* hurricane season bearing down upon us with an opening day of...tomorrow. *gulp*


the tuesday 10

i didn't forget my Ten on Tuesday post. it's not up on the site as of 1052am but the preview from last week's says it's going to be 10 favorite items to snack on. i guess i'll go with that & if it changes, i'll update.

Ten Favorite Things to Snack On
  1. Pringles (original flavor or sour cream & onion)
  2. cold fresh fruit: pineapple, cantaloupe, seedless green grapes, raspberries, strawberries...


Monday, May 30, 2005

NOT a movie review

The Longest Yard Posted by Hello

i haven't been to the movies in ages. in fact, i don't even think i could tell you the last thing i saw in the theater. i know it's been at least 6 months. i think...

anyway went to see remake of the 1974 movie The Longest Yard this afternoon. i'm not usually much of an Adam Sandler fan but he didn't act like a moron in this movie so that made him *so* much more tolerable. and Chris Rock--omg does he make me laugh. he doesn't even have to speak, just his facial expressions, his bugged out eyes & those giant white teeth LOL!! anyway the story line was predictable but there were some scenes & lines in that movie that absolutely made me laugh so hard i thought i would wet my pants. (no, literally. LOL i had to pee like 2/3 of the way through the movie but i didn't want to miss anything funny!)

anyway, i'm not claiming this is a valid review by any means. but if you like to laugh, i thought it was worth the money. not hysterical all the way through but a good solid amusement for 2 hours. by no means thought-provoking or intellectual but sometimes you just need to watch Chris Rock bulge out his eyes or show that extremely white toothy grin & laugh. =)


you are Julie Roberts

Posted by Hello

Oh, you're sweet enough to cause toothaches. It's not a facade, though. You truly bear no malice towards... anyone. Well, maybe people who kick puppies might be able to get an unkind word from you, but other than that, you are the queen of the turned cheek and graceful forgiveness.

Discover YOUR Inner Star


today is brought to you by the letter H

time for a little Monday Madness!!

This week I'm asking you to choose a letter of the alphabet. Now list the ten items below that begin with the letter you chose....

1. a family member: i have a second cousin, Heather
2. a movie: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
3. a game: Hockey
4. an automobile: Honda (which btw i am *not* a fan of!)
5. a fictional character: Harry Potter
6. a famous person: Howard Stern
7. a food: Hotdogs on the grill
8. a household item: Hangers (you know, like in your closet for your clothes lol)
9. a book: He Sees You When You're Sleeping by Mary Higgins Clark
10. a song: Have You Forgotten by Daryl Worley


in memory & gratitude

we, as Americans, all know that the last Monday of May is Memorial Day. a day for remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country, whether in times of peace or war. i think we forget sometimes though what this day really means in the middle of enjoying our long weekend & bbq food. as the daughter of a Vietnam Veteran, i was taught the respect that this special day deserves & i try my best to recall, even if just to myself, why exactly it is we have this day of memorial: that some of our brave boys & men & women--sons, fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters, boyfriends, fiances, friends--are no longer with us because they lived & died defending this great country that we live in. it's not about the paid holiday time or the burgers & hotdogs & potato salad or the "unofficial" beginning of summer. it's about the precious lives lost & the honor they are due.

some little bits of Memorial Day trivia:

**In 1868, General John A. Logan, first commander of the Grand Army of the Republic issued a General Order establishing May 30 as an official memorial day--known at this time as Decoration Day--to pay respect to all those who had died during the Civil War.
**In 1882, the name of the holiday was changed to Memorial Day, and soldiers who had died in other wars were also honored.
**In 1966, the federal government, under the direction of President Lyndon Johnson, declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day. They chose Waterloo—which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—because the town had made Memorial Day an annual, community-wide event during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
**In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May. (Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor all veterans, living and dead, is celebrated each year on November 11.)
**Today, Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Also, it is customary for the president or vice-president to give a speech honoring the contributions of the dead and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

i wish you all a safe, happy, enjoyable bay of remembrance this Memorial Day.



something i haven't mentioned here that may surprise one or two of you. you know of my love of football & the redsox (or if you don't by now, you haven't been following along too closely and/or paying much attentions lol), but what about the fact that i can enjoy a good NASCAR Nextel Cup race too? it's a different kind of sport than those played with a ball (or some variation there of) but it stems from my childhood attending NASCAR Modified races with my dad, mostly on Friday nights at Stafford Motor Speedway in CT. those races aren't televised though so over time i developed a taste for the ever-popular Nextel Cup circuit.

anyway, enough "history".

watched the CocaCola 600 last night, all 5 grueling hours of it, with it's record 22 cautions & by lap 200, the longest stretch of consecutive green-flag laps stood at a whopping 8. i am a big fan of the DEI racing team (especially the well know red & white of Dale Jr), who unfortunately didn't do so well last night when Jr tapped the back end of Waltrip's car sending him into a spin that resulted in a 5-car crash. with Michael Waltrip taken out of the race & Jr's car needing work that brought him back in 25 laps down, it was just another adventure in the seesaw ride Jr's been on all crappy season so far & just a bad night for the DEI team. that being said, i would have loved to see local-boy Joe Nemechek win as he gained a big lead (and yes i do actually support one local "team" as some of you know how i feel about Tampa sports frachises--BLECHHH!--but Joe is a Lakeland resident, *not* yucky Tampa) only to end up with a flat tire that took him out of the #1 position. at that point i became a HUGE Bobby Labonte (heck any of the boys at the front of the pack were welcome to a win at that point: Truex, Newman, Mayfield, Biffle, even Carl Edwards) as he expertly maneuvered & held a lead. but nope right at the very end stupid Jimmie Johnson had to sneak by for the win. and thus ended the joy of Jeff Gordon's accident taking him out of the race & Tony Stewart's 24th place finish.

just a long never-ending night ended with frustration. 5 hours spent watching one of the "Terrible Trio" (Johnson, Gordon, Stewart) claim another victory.


Sunday, May 29, 2005

nissan: driven

i am such a nissan girl at heart. some people dream of owning a porsche or BMW or mercedes. i could have all the money in the world & i would still want my altima 3.5SL. it was a love-at-first-sight experience for me, the first day i saw one unload off the car transport onto the lot at County Line Buick-Nissan in Middlebury, CT, where i used to work. to this day, i see one driving on the street & my heart still goes pitty-pat.

now matter how you dress her, isn't she gorgeous? i've always been partial to cars in black, silver & gray, something so classy about the way they look. not really crazy about the altima in "super black" this time though which is surprising because that's almost like the proverbial "little black dress" that looks good no matter what. but the black just doesn't do it for me. these do though:

"polished pewter" (a little deeper in tone than the "sheer silver") Posted by Hello

"smoke" (a nice deep smoky almost-black gray) Posted by Hello

and oddly for the first time ever, i am drawn in to a car with a color. just enough flash to be fun but with a little more subtle sophistication that a candy apple shade:

sonoma sunset Posted by Hello

if i won the lottery, there is no doubt in my mind that i would own one of those sleek babies. ok so maybe i would also want me a chevy pick-up truck, loaded to the max. it would make my grandpa proud that i owned at least *one* GM product...


the boys from Boston

there's nothing i like better than to see a sports headline like this:

Red Sox End Slump With Historic Rout of Yanks

17-1...hee hee hee. the yankees can't even claim it was a close game that just got away from them. they got their butts kicked in royal fashion, no ifs, ands or buts about it.


Thursday, May 26, 2005

the countdown

i found this little tidbit over on Angie's blog & thought it looked like fun. =)

TWELVE MOVIES (not in any particular order)

  1. Ocean's Eleven
  2. Shawshank Redemption
  3. Serendipity
  4. The Cutting Edge
  5. Coyote Ugly
  6. As Good As It Gets
  7. Jerry Maguire
  8. Father of the Bride
  9. Gross Pointe Blank
  10. Ever After
  11. The Notebook
  12. A Perfect Murder

ELEVEN GOOD BANDS/ARTISTS (in no particular order)

  1. Keith Urban
  2. Kenny Chesney
  3. Dave Matthews Band
  4. Natalie Merchant
  5. Sarah McLachlan
  6. Rascal Flatts
  7. Blake Shelton
  8. Alan Jackson
  9. Creed
  10. Matchbox 20
  11. 3 Doors Down


  1. ivory soap makes me break out in hives. i find this odd since it's supposed to be 99.5% pure. no other soap makes me do this. so does that mean i am allergic to purity??
  2. i hate shopping for shoes.
  3. if given a choice, i prefer to write with a black pen.
  4. my font of choice is Comic Sans 10pt Bold in navy blue. it bugs me to no end that it isn't an option for my blog.
  5. i actually like to do the grocery shopping.
  6. for the first time in my entire life, i have a job i love for a company i like & i never dread going into work.
  7. i always have gum in my purse.
  8. i can't wear sandals if my toenails aren't painted.
  9. i can't remember the last time i took a *real* vacation--i've taken long weekends back to CT & things like that, but not an actual vacation to a destination.
  10. i had never been anywhere in the state of Florida until the day i arrived to live here.

NINE GOOD FRIENDS (in no particular order)

  1. Heather
  2. Andie
  3. Alison
  4. Andi
  5. Gosia
  6. Jason
  7. Darna
  8. Michele
  9. Brian


  1. baked potatoes
  2. pasta with red sauce
  3. quesadillas
  4. cheeseburgers
  5. ice cream (in any form: regular ice cream, ice cream cake, ice cream sandwiches, milkshakes...)
  6. broccoli
  7. warm chocolate cookies
  8. cheesecake


  1. bath & body works lotion
  2. my watch
  3. my glasses
  4. a shirt
  5. pants
  6. underwear
  7. pajama pants


  1. when people call with a wrong number but hang up without saying anything at all. at least mutter wrong number or something would ya?!
  2. people who cut you off & then get mad at you, like it's your fault for being in their way
  3. people in a group that walk shoulder to shoulder & block anyone else from getting by
  4. bananas *gag*
  5. being put on the spot
  6. confrontation


  1. brush my teeth
  2. check my email
  3. walk the dog
  4. drink water
  5. shower


  1. reruns of Friends
  2. reruns of Sex & the City
  3. CSI
  4. Cold Case


  1. Davenport, FL
  2. Bristol, CT
  3. Terryville, CT


  1. a winning lottery ticket
  2. a digital camera


  1. Catherine


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

about flipping time

new england patriots Posted by Hello

i can't believe it took me 2 days to post this but since it took the Patriots *months* to come to what i consider to be a no-brainer decision, i guess 2 days isn't so bad, is it? really...salary cap issues aside, there's no reason he SHOULDN'T play for the team for a 13th season after all he did for them last year & with the Tedy Bruschi injury leaving both a defensive gap & a missing link in the team's morale system, i have to admit i am feeling relieved that he will remain with the team he helped win the Super Bowl 3 times in 4 years. i wasn't nearly as sure as a lot of Patriots fans seemed to be that Troy Brown was replaceable.

The Patriots Re-Sign Troy Brown


for Andie

Thumper LOL ;-) courtesy of Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival Posted by Hello


Chick Chat Wednesdays start now!

i found another new toy to play with! LOL
welcome to Chick Chat Wednesday, the latest tool in your never-ending quest to gather more (sometimes useless to *you* anyway lol) information about ME! *big cheesy grin*

this week's topic:

Fruits and Veggies
  1. What's Your Favorite Veggie? broccoli
  2. Do You Have a Favorite Salad Dressing? any sort of Zesty Italian
  3. Strawberries /or/ Cherries? strawberries
  4. Brown Pears /or/ Green Pears? brown pears?? gross. green please!!
  5. Celery With Cream Cheese /or/Peanut Butter? actually dipped in ranch dressing or veggie dip for me...


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

i didn't forget...

...to do my 10 on Tuesday post today. it's just that it proved super difficult for me as you will soon see. i even employed the assistance of the biggest source of random knowledge i know: Andie ...and we still didn't come up with a complete list. here goes my feeble failure of an attempt for this weeks topic:

10 Best Performances in a Movie by a Child
1. Haley Joel Osment in "The Sixth Sense"
2. Jonathan Lipnicki in "Jerry Maguire"
3. Hailey Mills in "Parent Trap"
4. Macauley Culkin in "The Good Son" (man did he creep me out in that flick!!)

...and that my faithful readers is sadly as far as i was able to get.
*shaking my head in disbelief*


Monday, May 23, 2005

does NOT come highly recommended for your viewing pleasure

what are the odds you'll watch 2 movies back-to-back on the same day & not like either of them even a *little* bit? ok so to be fair i didn't see ALL of one of them but what i did see did nothing, absolutely NADA, to make me want to see the whole thing in its entirety.

first there was this one (the partially viewed i mentioned) that i watched against suggestions that it was not worth the energy:
Man on Fire Posted by Hello

and later that same day there was:
Friday Night Lights Posted by Hello

i have to tell you, in all honesty, odds are i will like anything to do with football. and i truly expected better of movies that starred Denzel Washington & Billy Bob Thornton, respectively. swung & missed. both times. both had some strange filming/editing techniques employed that just plain annoyed me. both were intense which isn't bad unless it gives you a mild headache trying to watch the movie in question. and the latter of the 2: jumped around so randomly that you couldn't keep track of it all & the characters never had a chance to develop. i was completely frustrated.

one GOOD thing i can say is this: *so* glad i didn't waste the time & money seeing these in the theatre.


new meanings

sometimes i read a quote or an excerpt from someone's writing that i instantly like. maybe it's the way it sounds, maybe it's the way the thought itself was expressed. whatever the case, i like it. then sometimes something occurs that makes the very words you were drawn to have a whole new meaning, they suddenly become more than words you like. they have impact.

i read the following quote on Ali's blog some time ago & i liked it enough to copy & paste it into an email to myself:

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.

It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company ...a church ...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past ...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.

We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude ...I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you ...we are in charge of our attitudes. (Charles Swindoll)

today i saw, am seeing first hand, how someone's choice of attitude in a situation can keep them from feeling bitter & angry. instead they are someone who is warm & sweet, funny & genuine, honest & positive. i wonder if i could show that kind of unspoken strength of character if it were me. and i am humbled. you know who you are & you are in my heart & my thoughts...


Sunday, May 22, 2005

short & sweet

there are moments in life when you miss someone so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams & hug them for real...
nuff said


Saturday, May 21, 2005

follow links in this entry at your own risk if you're somewhere (like for instance, at work) where decidedly happy sounds may raise some eyebrows...

i am sure to get some hate mail for this but...went to the Magic Kingdom last night.

wandered around, enjoying the goregous weather & the happy atmosphere (minus the griping miserable woman in line in front of me waiting for the Monorail--sheesh! if you're going to be a crabby bitch, do it somewhere other than the Happiest Place on Earth huh? you're raining on the rest of our Share a Dream Come True parades.)

took another trip around the world on It's a Small World (behind a happy baby *almost* as cute as Catherine but we all know that's as close as that baby is going to get); as well as the requisute ride on Tomorrowland Transportation Authority, followed by a spin on the Mad Tea Party (where Kenneth was *not* allowed to control the teacup for a change!! ask him how he felt about being the dizzy one finally...ha!), The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (the mechanics of this ride fascinate me no matter how many times i go on it & i love the room with The Flood!); Snow White's Scary Adventures & The Haunted Mansion. For once, there was only a 15 minute wait to go on the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway except that i got stuck behind 2 people who couldn't seem to understand that when you take your foot off the gas pedal YOU STOP. *shaking my head*

BUT!! i think the best part was that for the first time ever, we decided to try out something we never had before since there was no line at all. we went on Buzz Light Year's Space Ranger Spin & so could not stop laughing! why have we avoided this for the last 3 years?! we stunk at it--some little kid about 5 years old in the car in front of us had about 105,000 points, i was thrilled with breaking 20,000 LOL--but were so amused we went on again immediately. in Dawn's review: you MUST go on this when you go to Disney World! i have not laughed this hard in ages.

now you can all be jealous & leave less than loving comments. you may all decide to hate me. I DO NOT CARE. i will still have Disney World in my backyard. the fact is, you could all *choose* to live as close to The Magic as i do. it's not *my* fault you haven't figured this out for yourself yet. =P


just putting this out there:

read the comments under my most recent Miss Catherine photos. the owner of this blog has one thing to say in response to that & needs a seperate post in which to do so, that it may not go unnoticed. =P


*heart* you too babe! ;-)


i just can't get enough of this little girly-girl! =)

is there anything i love more than this face?? i think not!! =) but i *may* consider a game of Mr Wet Washcloth Cleans the Baby before i get close enough to kiss on those sweet baby girl cheeks! LOL

shhhhh...and what is more precious than a peacefully slumbering babe? only problem is she suddenly looks SO big to me. =( she was supposed to be staying small till i got up to CT 3 weeks from today. she *promised*...


Friday, May 20, 2005

the friday five (edition may 20, 2005)

finally remembering to jump onto this one as well. (back dating though--since i know that someone is going to realize i posted this saturday morning with a friday timestamp & likely point my sneakiness out. had the post ready to go but was too tired to log in last night. oops...)

1. What made you happy this week?
chatting with my girls all day at work, talking to my Alison on the phone, new photos of Catherine
2. What made you sad?
not so much sad as some heavy stuff on my mind re: some health issues & worrying about stuff (yes i know it only gives me wrinkles...)
3. What made you angry?
not eating dinner till 9pm on Thursday made me *cranky* but nothing really made me out-right angry that i recall...
4. What are you looking forward to in the next week?
more chatting with my girls, every day bringing me closer to seeing my CT branch of "the brain" & the little puppet-master ;-), some resolution to the stuff from question #2, employee lunch on the 27th! (pressed Cuban sandwiches--yummy!)
5. What are you not looking forward to?
i know i'm not looking forward to coming up with the June newsletter for work...or listening to Precious yap all week long (i am *sure* there will be further explanation for this during the week for those of you not yet acquainted with what a "Precious" is...), not too much more than that. yet.


you know you're a Floridian if...

...you sit out in the sun for 20 minutes, in 90-degree heat, but you're NOT at the beach...and you think to yourself *breaks into goofy dramatic song* it's a wonderful world...LOL

no really, you think: Boy does this feel great.

oh & i am wearing jeans, a tee & sandals....and i'm not at ALL uncomfortable!


Thursday, May 19, 2005

those who went before

We are not free, separate, and independent entities, but like links in a chain, and we could not by any means be what we are without those who went before us and showed us the way.
(Thomas Mann)

found this quote. really like it. i like the sense of being part of something larger than "the now" that stretches out behind me as fas back as i can see. and i like the endless possibilities of how it can go on & on long after me. no definite beginning & end. all part of a past & a future much bigger than the present. and i love that i have a hobby that celebrates & documents "the now" for those links yet to come.

enough philospohy. just wanted to share. =)


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

hunker down?

you can't have lived in Florida since august 2004 & not feel like you have had your fill of being warned to "hunker down". on monday, the NOAA released its Atlantic hurricane forecast.

Hurricane Forecasters with the U.S. government`s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are predicting an above-average 2005 hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin. The forecasters are predicting 12 to 15 tropical storms will form in the Atlantic hurricane basin, with seven to nine becoming hurricanes. Three to five of the hurricanes could become major hurricanes-- Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Intensity Scale-- with sustained winds higher than 111 mph. The Atlantic basin averages 10 tropical storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes each year.
The Atlantic hurricane outlook reflects an expected continuation of the above-average activity that began in 1995. Since that time all but two Atlantic hurricane seasons have been above-normal. Hurricane season starts on June 1 and ends November 30.
In 2004, 15 named storms formed, nine became hurricanes and six were major hurricanes. Hurricanes Charley (Category 4), Frances (Category 2), Ivan (Category 3), Jeanne (Category 3), all major hurricanes, made landfall on the U.S. coast.
Since forecasters cannot predict when and where storms will form, government officials recommend people along the Gulf of Mexico and up and down the Atlantic coast begin preparing for hurricane season.

this isn't much of a surprise. we were forewarned of this before the last hurricane season even ended. *sigh* i am tired already. they keep saying that Floridians shouldn't panic because the odds are widely in our favor that there won't be a repeat of last year. i would try to find comfort in this little tidbit but ya know what? they said that after Charley raged through & Frances was taking aim. wouldn't you know it, the storms' paths crossed about 25 minutes south of where i live, making an X right across Central FL. as Ivan squared off with FL in his sights, the meteorologists kept saying "prepare for the worst but there's so little chance of 3 major hurricanes hitting the same state so close together"...RIGHT. and as Central FL breathed a collective sigh of relief that there was no direct hit for our badly ravaged area, we felt the pain of the panhandle residents that *were* hit, the trauma of 2 back-to-back storms still fresh in our minds. of course with our backs turned, watching the Gulf Coast, with wide-eyed fear, just waiting for Ivan to make a last minute turn for the apparent target over our heads, no one seemed to pay much attention to Jeanne who was creeping up with a menacing glare to beat down our east coast & march s-l-o-w-l-y across Central FL, following much the same path as Frances & destroying what little remained standing. odds are? ODDS ARE??! statistically speaking it was near impossible, but we learned that Mother Nature doesn't give a damn about statistics when she's PMSing like that.

last year after the first couple of pummelings, Max Mayfield (the Director over at the NOAA National Hurricane Center) said: "won't someone please turn off the hurricane switch?" personally i think we ought to find out whose job this was & kick their sorry butt. and can't we learn from the past & just shut the darn thing off NOW?! please...?

signing off now from presently sunny Florida & not-so-anxiously awaiting Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Dennis, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irene, Jose, Katrina, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Phillipe, Rita, Stan, Tammy, Vince or Wilma.


this moment brough to you by The Morning Commute

(as seen on I4 westbound at approximately mile marker 54 on wednesday may 18, 2005 at 7:29am) there was this dump truck, not at all unusual to see considering all the construction that lines my entire trip to & from work 5 days a week. a large dump truck--most likely privately owned--with a custom paint job. also not in & of itself noteworthy in any way. not even when i tell you that it was with pictures of the cross & Jesus holding a lamb in his arms, very detailed & actually pretty impressive--it's still not THAT notable that i would feel the need to blog about it because after all this is the South & it is not uncommon to find lots of people very enthusiastic about their religion. however, inscribed on the back of the dump truck in huge white lettering were the words "Jesus is my Sheepheard". note to self when obviously paying a decent chunk of change to have your dump truck custom painted, especially in a way that will draw attention: make sure your graphic designer can spell or at least has access to a dictionary.



Tuesday, May 17, 2005

10 brand names you can't live without

going to see if i can't remember to do a weekly posting of "the 10 on Tuesday" meme although to be honest, i've known about this site for about 3 weeks now & keep forgetting to check it ON tuesday lol. so this may be a weekly installment...or it may end up being a random "hey it's tuesday & i actually remembered to post this" sort of event. ;-)

so here we are:
10 brand names i can't live without

1. Bath & Body Works lotions in Warm Vanilla Sugar & Moonlight Path
2. SoftLips lip protectant in French Vanilla
3. Ocean Spray Premium 100% Cranberry Juice
4. Garnier Fructis Fiber Gum Putty
5. Wrigley's Extra Gum in Winterfresh
6. Clean & Clear Oil-Absorbing Sheets
7. Mr Clean Magic Eraser
8. Shout Wipes Plus
9. Purell Hand Sanitizer
10. Gillette Venus Divine Razor for Women


*crazy wild happy dance*


missed you girly. in case that isn't terribly obvious. and you can only keep a secret from The Brain for so long, whether you want to or not lol. C will tell me. after all, i *still* get to be favorite auntie (even if the step up to favorite is barely imperceptible to the naked eye) simply because i am godmama. *looks smug* and anyway, i am so glad you're back. =)


Monday, May 16, 2005

yes, another post about bugs lol

geologists estimate that Florida is one of the youngest parts of the continental United States, the last land mass to emerge from the ocean. i suppose that you could consider some of our environment here to be a step or 2 behind land masses that have had a bit more time to age & evolve & therefore relatively slightly more "prehistoric" in nature--take a look at alligators, which are rather dinosaur like & armadillos with their hard shells & all sorts of other species of lizards & bugs & reptiles & what have you, some of which are obscenely large in comparison to those i was famaliar with CT. and weren't alot of prehistoric creatures bigger than their present-day counterparts? where exactly am i going with this random entry? i swear the last few days, i have encountered some mutant mosquitoes & i mean large enough that you can actually *hear* them launching through the air in your direction, looking for an opportunity to prey on your blood. the only explanation i can come up with is that we are still living with creatures from another time...all i know is that there bugs of alarming size sharing my world & i felt i needed to share.


Sunday, May 15, 2005

this week's new recipe

ok so i am aware that i am not doing this religiously...i think i will wait & just post recipes once i try them & find them worth recommending. ;-) anyway, this week--just a few minutes ago actually!--i made the yummiest dinner from a 30 Minute Meals episode. comes highly Dawn-recommended (if that means anything to you lol)

Meatloaf Patties, Smashed Potatoes, and Pan Gravy
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

1 1/3 pounds ground sirloin, 90 percent lean ground beef
1 slice white bread, spread with softened butter, then cut into small cubes
1/8 cup (a splash) milk
1 egg
2 teaspoons grill seasoning blend, or coarse salt and black pepper combined
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 rounded tablespoon tomato paste
1 medium onion, finely chopped, reserve
1/4 amount
2 pounds small red potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 scallions, chopped, whites and greens
1/2 cup milk

3-Condiment Pan Gravy:
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 medium onion, finely chopped, reserved from meatloaf mixture
2 tablespoons (a handful) all-purpose flour
1 to 1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 rounded teaspoon spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon steak sauce

Place meat in a large mixing bowl and create a well in the center of the meat. Fill the well with the bread cubes and dampen them with a splash of milk. Pour 1 beaten egg over bread and add seasoning or salt and pepper, allspice, tomato paste and onion to the bowl.
Combine the meat, bread and grill seasoning or salt and pepper and form mixture into 4 large oval patties 3/4-inch thick. Pan fry meatloaf patties in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat 7 minutes on each side under a loose tin foil tent. The tent will reflect heat and allow the steam to escape the pan.
Cover the quartered, red-skinned potatoes in water in a medium saucepan. Bring water to a boil and cook potatoes 10 minutes or until fork tender. Turn heat under pan off; drain potatoes and return to hot pan and warm stovetop to dry potatoes out. Add butter, sour cream, scallions, and milk to potatoes and smash to your desired consistency. Season potatoes with salt, to taste.
Remove meat loaf patties to a platter and return pan to heat. Reduce heat to medium and add butter and onion to your skillet. Cook the onion 2 minutes and sprinkle pan with flour. Cook flour 1 minute and whisk in 1 cup beef stock. Bring broth to a bubble. If gravy is too thick, thin with additional stock. Stir in condiments and remove gravy from heat.
Slice meatloaf patties and drizzle with gravy. Pile smashed potatoes along side and make a well in the center for sour cream or gravy.


i believe...

...that ice cream can be a meal in & of itself.

...that when you put a smile out there, your odds of getting one in return are great. =)

...in love.

...that journaling in anyway is a great form of cheap therapy.

...in friendship.

...you have to die trying.

...i may be crazy.


another quickie brought you by Glamour magazine

12 hours.

that's the life span of the average bad mood, according to a recent study from the University of Florida in Gainesville. researchers who studied people after a hellish day found that when participants brought their negative dispositions home with them, most felt better by morning. what can help cheer you up faster? extroverts--women who talk to their hubby, a friend, even Fido, about their day--have an easier time getting over their funk than those who keep their emotions bottled up, says study author Tinothy Judge, Ph.D. happy venting!

12 hours huh...? i wonder...


Saturday, May 14, 2005

one more round

i see these things & i can't help myself. and anyway don't you all come here to gain a little more knowledge about yours truly? ;-) this one found on yet another blog i check out from time to time: take two

cream-colored with pink flowers along the edge. hand-me-downs, not really much my taste. if it were up to me & $$ was no issue, i'd be eating off of Floral Breeze or Summer Breeze or maybe Italian Vine. i do happen to own some great Pfaltzgraff of my very own though--my holiday dishes: Winterberry =)

dead tie between Monopoly (i have the millenium edition which is actually a collector's item now though surely worth nothing since it has been played quite a few times , but would also love to own the America edition and the Disney edition) and Clue

it's one of the those ultra-thin, holographic-looking ones, black with a big silver circle on it that says Dell, from when we got the new computer in February 2004

navy blue & silver (i know you didn't really expect me to pick just one...)

anything obnoxious, like neon, or gross looking, like baby poo green/brown/mustard--there are shades of brown, green & mustard that i think are gorgeous, you know which shades i mean though...

at least 2 in order for the caller id to register, sometimes 3- 3.5 if i am sprinting to the phone or trying to locate it. after 4, it deposits you unceremoniously into voicemail whether i wanted to talk to you or not.

both. either. all of the above.

sometimes, though just *how* fast i will not say...and sometimes i am just driving faster than i realize until i look down & nearly have a stroke--"just following traffic" is not necessarilly a smart thing to do.


depends on what sort of storm we're talking about here. thunderstorms are cool as long as they don't take out my electricity or hit the house & blow out the sprinkler system. snowstorms are great as long as you're staying in (preferably with someone you like) & not needing to drive or dig out your car. hurricanes & tornadoes scare the pants off of me.

pain--emotional, physical, mental. feeling it or causing it or knowing someone i love is going through it & i can't make it stop.

Everybody Loves Raymond; Cold Case; CSI:; Without a Trace; Two and a Half Men; What Not To Wear; 30 Minute Meals; PTI (Pardon the Interruption); and re-runs of Friends and Sex and the City

ketchup on burgers & hotdogs, mustard on my ham sandwiches or on polish sausage (keilbasa), HONEY mustard for dipping fries & chicken strips

a big fat cheeseburger (complete with tomato, lettuce, pickles, ketchup & NO onions) will win hands down if i must choose, but i do like a good grilled hotdog with sauerkraut too (really, you know if it's food, odds are it probably doesn't stand much of a chance around me)

though i will almost always opt for water, sometimes it's not a choice or sometimes you need something else. in those cases, i love ginger ale or maybe a rootbeer. and for those times when i need a caffeine kick, Pespi is my preferred method of caffeine infusion.

well my screen saver isn't on RIGHT NOW ;-) but when it is, it's a slide show i made of Catherine, Seamus, Tyler & Olivia, whose photos can be found by checking back through my previous blog entries. i am dying to add a new photo subject or 2 to the mix. any takers...? ;-) not that the ones i've got aren't good enough but one can never get enough cute babies around to kiss & spoil

bruschetta, a good grilled chicken breast with some sort of yummy sauce or marinade, boiled new potatoes with butter & a touch of salt, cheesecake, ice cream...and the list goes on & on...and on...


this just in!!

the divine Miss C has just received her first hair cut. see the exclusive photo footage here:

In-depth photo coverage of "The Princess Gets a Haircut"

sneak peek Posted by Hello

feel free to gush over how adorable my god baby is. though you won't be telling us something we don't already know. LOL =)


Friday, May 13, 2005

on my "to read" list

just some light fun reads i think i could use...

Posted by Hello

just because i *heart* the show & i want to read this

Posted by Hello

recommended in Glamour magazine: "a gossipy Saturday afternoon treat set among New York socialites", they claim it's entertaining, like a bubble bath for the brain. sounds great to me!

Posted by Hello

also recommended in Glamour: "a winning blend of Steel Magnolias and Sweet Home Alabama with a whodunit twist", sounds right up my alley


how can you not smile at this? =)

these made my otherwise crampy & cranky night

2 of my favoritest girls =)

having fun =)


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

what happens next

i am apprently feeling lazy this evening but felt compelled to share another little something else from "Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Mind"...just for your reading pleasure lol.

I always want to see what happens after the movie is technically over. I want an update on the couple that fell in love in Dolby Surround Sound, to see how they're doing post-euphoria....

(excerpt from "Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Mind" by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, pg. 143)

and seriously this is SO me. i hate getting to the end of a movie & wondering what happens 6 months from then or do they get married? do they have more kids? do they move back to CA? i need to know more than the 2 hours allows for. and yet ironocally, i am not a big fan of sequels.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

as found in Glamour magazine...

...on the 100% guilt-free page

hey, it's ok...

...to consider riding on a swing a form of cardio.

...to wish you never had to see another ice-blended coffee. there are other ways to cool down in summer. hello...water!

...to be terrified of spiders. save your fearlessness for the stuff that matters.

...to argue with him on the first date.

...if you still don't have an iPod.

...to choose the color before the car model.

...to want your mom when the going gets tough. whether you're running a small country or scout troop 145, no one else really knows how to make it better.

...to kind of like a guy in a speedo.

...if you can't help checking yourself out in all semi-reflective surfaces--cab windows, shiny office buildings, ponds.

ok so i will never think a guy in a speedo is a good idea lol...that's not the point. the point is this: whatever little thing you do that you get down on yourself for & you tell yourself how stupid you're being, lighten up on yourself a little today & just remind your inner critic: hey, it's ok...


Monday, May 9, 2005

these things are addictive...

...and so stinking accurate that it's eerie!!

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who have a split personality - cold as ice on the outside but hot as fire in the heart.

In love, you feel the most alive when things are straight-forward, and you're told that you're loved.

You'd like to your lover to think you are loyal and faithful... that you'll never change.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was ruthless, cold-blooded, and sarcastic.

Your ideal relationship is open. Both of you can talk about everything... no secrets.

Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.

You think of marriage as something precious. You'll treasure marriage and treat it as sacred.

In this moment, you think of love as something you thirst for. You'll do anything for love, but you won't fall for it easily.


make me smile why don't ya! =)

i *adore* when my friends send me photos of their sweet babies. i am not one of those people who EVER rolls my eyes when people want to show off their kids. i just do not get tired of seeing these sweet little faces. =) keep 'em coming girls!

these are of my friends Gosia's & Neil's little man, Seamus, who turned one in January...(btw for those of you unfamiliar with Polish, her name is pronounced "GO-shuh" which is like the Polish version of Maggie)

Seamus-man =)

more Seamus

still more Seamus


speaking of...

...love & what you do for a living.

first i have to share with you the words to one of my all-time favorite songs by Alan Jackson called "To Do What I Do" (you can hear a short clip of the song if you click on the title):

I've been a waiter, a roofer, a clerk
I've shoveled manure till my pride hurt
When you're starting out, it's all part of the work
To do what I do

I've been evicted for not making rent
Made my Daddy wonder where my good sense went
For the price of a dream, my years have been spent
To do what I do

So I stand here tonight with this six string guitar
To be something I've always been in my heart
Just for the chance to play you my song
The thrill when I hear you singing along
It's been worth everything I've been through
To do what I do

I've played for empty tables and chairs
For drunks that don't listen and crowds that don't care
Been told countless times 'Boy you ain't goin' nowhere'
To do what I do

So I hope the critics and skeptics alike
All bought a ticket to this show tonight
Cause they'll see firsthand that I have survived
What doesn't kill you makes you more alive
And I'm one of the fortunate few
To do what I do

There's so much joy this music can bring
So I count my blessings when I step up to sing
Cause there're so many people who would give anything
To do what I do
And I Thank You......
I can do what I do!

i love that you can hear the passion for what he does, the gratefulness & the pride. you know that every night he gets up to sing, it is something that comes from his soul. and if you've been reading my blog for some time now, you know how i feel about those who are passionate about what they do.

now, onto love. or more specifically love BUGS. may is phase one of love bug season (aka invasion of the love bugs). what's a love bug you say? well it's not an affectionate term & it doesn't indicate a mass influx of romantics. they are these flying beetle-looking bugs that start appearing in mass quantities in May & again in September. (if you want to see what one looks like, do an internet search. there are tons of sites out there with photos on them--i just have to see them enough without needing to add a photo of one to my blog. ick.) the first time you see a love bug, it's a little odd. i mean here is this airborne creepy-crawly that is essentially 2 bugs joined at the ass. it looks like they grow like that & are stuck that way. after a little research, turns out they are actually in the process of MATING. i know they say you learn something new every day but i am now slightly more disturbed to have gained *this* little tidbit of trivia. i could have lived continuing to believe that by some phenomenon of nature 2 bugs spend their whole existence stuck together by their butts, forever flying around facing opposite directions. i used to stop & wonder occasionally who was in charge & how they decided where they were going & how their little bug brains learned how to coordinate flying together like that. now i know that they are actually GOING AT IT. get a room! there is usually a larger one (the female) attached to a smaller one (the male) and the female usually gets her way, dragging the male around after her. (lesson to be learned here perhaps?? lol) they are also not native to FL but arrived here from TX (uhhh, thanks guys--i'm glad to have gained my Andie from TX but you could have kept the bugs lol) via the panhandle & migrated down into the peninsula. they are harmless, feeding on nectar. they don't sting & they don't destroy crops. but they ARE a nuisance. they are for some reason attracted to the exhaust fumes & UV radiation emitted by running vehicles & so they congregate in great numbers along highways (although they have an uncanny knack for finding the smallest crawl spaces to get in onto your screen porch too & making your dog bark like a lunatic) & all too often, they come to an unceremonious demise in a splatter on your car. not only gross & messy, but their acidic decaying little bodies eat away car paint so you have no choice but to battle back with increased frequency of washing your car. what a way to go though huh? LOL

and now aren't you glad you stopped by here today? =P thank you for visiting. please come again... ;-)


Sunday, May 8, 2005

In the Garden

mothers day is winding down. all day i've had my Gram in the back of my head. she was way more mom to me than grandmother. i miss her everyday of course but some days just make the void a little more obvious i guess. this being one of them. so in honor of my sweet Gram on a day meant to celebrate mothers, i'm going to share the lyrics of a song that will inevitably make me think of her for of the rest of my life--it was sung at her funeral service & is perfect for her in such a bittersweet way--though the memories are always more sweet than bitter. if anyone was ever deserving of walking forever in The Garden, it is my Gram & i am sure she is reveling in the beauty of every flower blooming & bird singing there, just as she was here in this life.

In The Garden

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses
And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known

He speaks and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing
And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known

I'd stay in the garden with Him
'Tho the night around me be falling
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling
And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known


time-wasters anonymous

oh boy. blog-hopping this morning. found these on Lisa's blog & who am i to pass up some good old-fashioned time wasting huh? lol

now i know none of you who have heard me speak (and subsequently picked on my pronunciation) will find *these* results to be off base lol:

Your Linguistic Profile:

50% General American English

45% Yankee

5% Upper Midwestern

0% Dixie

0% Midwestern

and then there's this one. which i feel to be dead-on as well...

Your #1 Match: INFJ

The Protector

You live your life with integrity, originality, vision, and creativity.
Independent and stubborn, you rarely stray from your vision - no matter what it is.
You are an excellent listener, with almost infinite patience.
You have complex, deep feelings, and you take great care to express them.

You would make a great photographer, alternative medicine guru, or teacher.


Friday, May 6, 2005

i *heart* my job

you've all heard me say i love my job. but seriously--my job ROCKS. phil--the owner of the company--brought his hand held dvd player in from his truck complete with a copy of Shark Tale & set me up right here at my desk to be entertained for the afternoon. movie watching on *his* time AND he yelled at me when he caught me multi-tasking!! i have to tell you: i AM the queen. and you know you are all jealous.

as Andie informed me via one of our million allday emails:
-----Original Message-----
From: Andrea Smith
Sent: Friday, May 06, 2005 2:07 PM
To: Radke, Dawn
Subject: RE: i *heart* my job


Thursday, May 5, 2005

To the kids who survived the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s

recieved in my email inbox today. in total agreement...except that i adore the internet & the friends i have met there!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing and didn't get tested for diabetes.

After that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, bread and butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no internet or internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were No lawsuits from these accidents. We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live in us forever. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little league had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all! And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS! Please pass this on to others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it


just because i can

i have nothing at all clever to say right now lol. i am posting anyway. just because. i am hoping if i say something random & express my lack of ability in finding a topic ot ramble on, it will spark my creativity & i will have something witty to say later.

35 days till i get some sweet Catherine-girl baby love. and we all know she loves her auntie dawn the best!!


Monday, May 2, 2005

who would have known

so i am flying down the highway at 78mph--shhhh...no one tell the FHP. if i get pulled over tomorrow, i will know someone squealed on me! lol--in the midst of all these aggravating orange cone/barrel things that the DOT has lined up everywhere up & down I-4 marking construction zones. i've been sharing my commute with these lovely (ha...) spectacles for well over a year now as they are marched & rearranged again & again. i'm used to them. they may relocate between my trips back & forth but they are familiar. i digress...

this morning as i zoom by on my way into work, i see, spray painted in white, on the black base of these roadside sentries:


that's it. of all the graffiti i've seen this was the best. could have been some teenager out on a weekend adventure. could have been some construction worker waiting for his ride back to his vehicle at the end of the day. whoever it was had a positive message. and i thought of it several times today on what might have otherwise been a cruddy day (don't even get me started on the alarm clock near-miss faisco this morning...). i swear anyone who saw that barrel, if they didn't respond with a smile must have really been an ugly soul. i know i just couldn't help it.

pay it forward. spread the love. share a smile. i love when something simple & unexpected brightens my day & that i am not so caught up in the trivial that i miss it. now if only i had a digital camera, i could have captured it & shared it with you all. although i can't imagine how safe *that* would have been to pull off at 78mph in morning traffic. ;-)


Sunday, May 1, 2005

it's all in the numbers

just some useless number-oriented facts from my little corner of the universe...

$2.14: what i was *so* excited to pay per gallon for gasoline today. then i realized how sad that is...

$30: how much it cost me to fill said gas tank

523.6: number of miles i drove last week

$3.49: what i paid for a gallon of whole milk

$40.09: the amount i spent at Walmart today

$17.09: the amount i spent at Publix today

6:45: the time i got up this morning

1 year & 1 week: how long i have had the best job ever

100: apparently the number of registered sex offenders living in the zip code where i work *sigh*

40: the number of days till i next kiss my sweet Catherine's perfect baby cheeks =)

528: number of days remaining until i turn 30

237: number of days remaining until Christmas

3: number of times i talked to Heather on the phone today

6: the number of times i walked the dog today


ode to an appliance

It is very difficult to try to load someone else's dishwasher; everyone has their own method. Glasses stacked in this row, bowls this way, silverware facing up, down--it's a highly personal thing. The few times someone outside the family has loaded ours, I open it up and am disoriented, dismayed even, to find plates in the wrong slots, bowls on the top (the top?!), and even a skillet crammed in there. It's just too counter-productive and unsettling, even though it is nice of them to try and help.

(excerpt from "Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Mind" by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, pg. 88)

if you know me at all, you know that i LOATHE washing dishes. you may also conclude that i have an on-going love affair with my dishwasher--my most favorite appliance *ever*.

what it is about the dishwasher anyway? i don't even like it when ken loads it. it's like i have this map in my mind of where everything goes & why. you can't mess with it. i don't even know how i came to this method of dishwasher-loading but it is just one of the "rules" now. i will actually go in there & rearrange things if someone else puts them in "wrong". i used to think i had issues but this entry confirms that i am not the lone freak on this topic.

this reminds me: time to go UNload this wonderful contraption. because if someone else does & the stuff doesn't get back into its proper home in cabinet or drawer, that will bug me as well. i really ought to make a little legend or tags or something so that there are no excuses for the misplacing of dishes anywhere & then maybe i could NOT do it all myself for once...


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